Ask A Recruiter: Why Is The Interview Process Taking So Long?

Nothing is more frustrating than a long interview process. Am I right? Chances are you’re super excited about the position, maybe you’re in a time crunch or unemployed, and gosh darn it, it’s taking FOREVER!

  • You apply to the job and the hiring manager doesn’t email you until three weeks later.
  • You interview and it takes two more weeks to schedule next steps.
  • You finished your final interview and they don’t even extend an offer until a month later?

Maybe you start to lose faith in the hiring process as a whole (like a lot of people have…)

You blame “the system” (whoever that is).

You just get plain exhausted.

There’s a chance you even take it personally: “Am I not a good enough candidate for them to just hire me already?”

Image result for frustrated gif


We all know that there’s two sides to every story and sometimes the best way to ease stress is to simply understanding what is going on behind the scenes that you don’t see.

Here are some of the main reasons why things aren’t going as quickly as you want:

Multiple Decision Makers

You may know this intellectually but when there’s more than one person involved in the process, the length of the interview process begins to compound.

This means coordinating more schedules:

“John is out of town for the next two weeks, but we can set something up when he returns.”

“Stephanie can only interview Friday at 2 or we have to wait until Wednesday of next week.”

Sound familiar?

This means weighing more opinions:

“I really liked Stephen! He’s got great energy and I think he could bring a lot to the team!”

“I don’t know about Stephen…does he have enough experience for what we need?”

Unfortunately, most hiring decisions aren’t made by one person. If you can prepare for this on the front end, it’ll make it easier to digest when the company asks for your availability to meet with “XYZ” next.

Budget Change

This can impact any company but you’ll see this a lot more with large enterprises. Money is shifted around constantly – allocated for this and that, project priorities changes….what have you.

Sometimes that role that you’re interviewing for gets put on hold until further notice. They don’t want to “cancel” the position because they know it’ll open back up; it’s just a matter of when. We see hiring decisions get pushed into the next quarter due to budgetary reason.

Something else that happens too is the position title or responsibilities change during the hiring process. During a company meeting, they realize they don’t need the role they thought they did and need to pivot.

There are SO many moving pieces to bringing on a new employee and if you find yourself interviewing at the end of a quarter or fiscal year, you might notice a delay more than you would otherwise.

They’re Completing Other Interviews

A very popular reason. Yes. That’s right. It is rare to have an employer interview and hire the first candidate they meet, without reviewing other options.

Think about it.

Say you’re buying a new car. Maybe the first one you look at is amazing. Perfect. Checks all the boxes.


You’re telling me that you’re not going to visit a few more dealerships just to make sure it’s the right one?

Hiring is the same.

Employers like to see comparison candidates. It helps to confirm the right choice, whether it’s that first person or not. In this case, maybe you were that “first car” they looked at. You finished all of the interviews and you’ve been a sitting duck for 2+ weeks…I’d put money on it that they’re finishing interviews with other people.

As someone that sees both the candidate and client side, I don’t condone an interview process taking months on end however, it’s important that both parties set the right expectations about how long an interview process will actually take. Sure, you can argue that in the past you’ve had job offers come within a week. That’s great. But you can’t use one or two past experiences as the measuring stick for every position moving forward.

I do see a lot of companies miss out on exceptional candidates because they took too long. Definitely a bummer. As a candidate, all you can really do is prepare yourself appropriately at the beginning and know that you more than likely won’t be signing an offer letter after the first week of the process.

Be patient, set appropriate expectations, and you’ll be good – I promise!

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